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The Average Duration of Unemployment

The average duration of unemployment in 2014 is still higher than it was in 2010. I’ve written a great deal over the years about the decrease in the labor force participation rate and its implications for the U.S. economy. But, frankly, this took me by surprise. Anyone who still thinks the U.S. economic “recovery” is real should check their privilege. Continue Reading →

I Was Wrong About ZIRP

Not, mind you, because the Fed will raise interest rates any time soon. No, the geniuses at the Federal Open Market Committee and the Board of Governors seem to be leaning in a different direction: NIRP. … Better get used to seeing those initials. They stand for negative-interest-rate policy. That’s right. The Fed thinks they can drive nominal short-term interest rates below zero. Continue Reading →

Second Quarter GDP

First quarter GDP was pretty good. I’ll only add that there are two more estimates to be released. BEA’s revisions have been pretty substantial in recent years. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that the 4% growth rate will be revised downward over the next two months.
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Why I Will Not Use U.S. Government Data for Three More Years

I have reluctantly concluded that I cannot believe any numbers emanating from the U.S. government. The purpose of this article is to explain why I will not use U.S. government data for three more years. The exception is long-term historical data that is harder to fudge. I remain hopeful that the next occupant of the executive branch will restore integrity to the data. … I am personally heartbroken speaking as someone who has used and relied on this data since 1971.
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The Other Cliff — Regulations

To summarize, there is more to fiscal policy than G, TA, and TR (government spending, taxes, and transfer payments for those a little rusty on their macroeconomics). Government regulations also have a significant impact on the economy. Continue Reading →